Published: Friday, 20 January 2012 05:05
Free Stroke Asessments
On Friday, Jan. 28, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., doctors at Alameda Hospital will be conducting free stroke risk assessments. As a part of the assessments, patients will be given blood pressure tests, body mass indexes, total cholesterol checks and blood glucose level exams. Patients will also receive electrocardiograms. After the thorough assessments, doctors will discuss patients' individual risks for strokes.
A stroke occurs when either a clot blocks blood flow in an artery leading to the brain, or when a blood vessel heading to the brain breaks. A stroke victim may experience sudden numbness in parts of the body, as well as confusion, slurred speech, difficulty seeing and dizziness. A stroke patient may also have trouble with coordination and balance.
The likelihood that a person will have a stroke depends on several factors. A person over the age of 55 is more likely to have a stroke than those under that age, and that person's stroke risk will double each decade past his 55th birthday. If someone's grandparent, parent, sister or brother has had a stroke, then that person has an elevated risk of having one, too. If a person is male, an African American, or both, he is more likely to have a stroke than those outside those categories. Someone with high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes is also more likely to have a stroke.
Be Cervix Aware
By official Congressional decree, January is "Cervical Health Awareness Month." During this month, women and men are both encouraged to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
A variation of HPV can cause cervical cancer, while other versions of the virus can cause vaginal, penile, anal or oropharyngeal cancer.
It is often passed during sexual activity through skin-to-skin contact. Many people have HPV and don't even realize it.
Blood Donors Celebrated
January is also "National Blood Donor Month." The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) is encouraging anyone with O+, O-, A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+ or AB- to donate blood during this allimportant month.
Though donors can donate up to one pint of blood at a time, that one pint can be separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets and distributed into at least three different people.
On a daily basis, donated blood gets used to treat cancer patients, organ transplant recipients and trauma victims.
About 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 10 percent do so each year, according to the ACPHD.
People 17 years of age, who are over 110 pounds and who have no sickness or illness are strongly encouraged to donate. However, donators will be subjected to a series of questions at donation spots that will help determine if they are fully eligible to donate. Certain diseases, travel patterns and medications may preclude some from donating.
People with blood types O- and AB- are especially encouraged to donate, as O- blood can be transferred to all people, and AB- blood is the rarest blood type.
People can donate blood every 56 days and platelets, at most, twice a week.